The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds took a plane to games during the OHL semifinal yet couldn't fly as high as Connor McDavid.
To think, the Erie Otters phenomenon could have his playoff points-per-game rate fall off by half during the league final against either North Bay and Oshawa, and still have a good shot of setting an Ontario Hockey League record for the most prolific post-season. While most major junior hockey individual records were set in an era that predated sophisticated video analysis and improvements in goalie equipment and training, McDavid is within striking distance of the OHL mark.
Sixteen years ago, Justin Papineau had 51 points in 21 games to lead the late and lamented Belleville Bulls to the J. Ross Robertson Cup. McDavid has 42 in 15 after having a nearly routine five-point night during the 7-3 Otters win that completed a six-game victory over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to win the Western Conference title. The fun starts 40 seconds in.
Please pay particularly close attention to the wraparound goal for the game-winner, the cross-seam pass to Nick Baptiste for a dagger power-play goal and the tic-tac-toe Alex DeBrincat tally that gutted the Greyhounds.
Some other fun facts:
— McDavid is averaging more points (2.8) in the playoffs, where the checking and coverage is supposed to get tighter, than he did during the regular season (2.55).
— His 19 points against the 'Hounds was an Otters record for most points in a playoff series, breaking the mark of 14 set 2½ weeks ago by someone named Connor McDavid.
— Combining regular season and playoffs, McDavid has 162 points in 63 games (2.57 per), which is not far off from Sidney Crosby's regular season of 168 in 62 with the 2004-05 Rimouski Océanic.
— The last player to have 162 points during an OHL regular season, Andrew Brunette, did so 22 years ago.
— McDavid is averaging 3.15 (46 points, including 14 goals) in games following games where he was held to one point.
— Those 42 points are already tied for the third-highest in an OHL post-season since 1997-98, topped only by Papineau in '99 and Rob Schremp (47 for the 2006 London Knights). Papineau and Schremp were both in their 19-year-old seasons.
— McDavid's 15-game playoff output would have made him the second-leading scorer on the Sudbury Wolves, third on the Belleville Bulls, third on the Saginaw Spirit, fourth on the Mississauga Steelheads and fifth on the Plymouth Whalers. Just a reminder: a regular season is 68 games.
Last but not least, the Otters won 4-of-6 games against the Greyhounds, who had only lost three of 38 games between the end of the world junior championship and start of this series. The 'Hounds had four NHL first-rounders in their lineup, including national junior team members Darnell Nurse and Nick Ritchie, but were vanquished, partially due to a lack of discipline. That included Hayden Verbeek's slew-footing match penalty in the second period on Saturday.
That penalty became prophesy. McDavid set up two goals during the ensuing power play.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.